The Cutprice Guignol

The Ninth Year: The Haunting of Swill House

Tag: arthur darvill

Not Being a Dick: Broadchurch

Well, sorry for anyone who came here for the jokes or the endless pessimism or the bastarding, relentless cynicism. For once, I’ve found something I can’t fault. I’m not planning to be a little bitch and nitpick; no, no, this is straight-up adulation.

Broadchurch finished last night. Me and my viewing companion were literally sitting on the ITVplayer page at five past ten, refreshing hysterically and with disturbing constancy, because we HAD TO KNOW. I watched the whole series begrudgingly on Saturday and declared it to be one of the best things I’ve ever seen. It follows the story of the murder of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer in the small coastal town of  Broadchurch, tailing both the emotional drama and the police investigation.

Just reading that back, it never sounds like something I’d enjoy this side of middle age. But, without a shadow of a whisper of a doubt, I loved it. The final episode (no spoilers, fear not) was a glorious bit of television; emotionally harrowing doesn’t do it justice. But there was no sense of cleavering a reaction out of you-the series slowly built to a heart-shattering crescendo that genuinely had me in tears. It earned every second of the drama with patience and unpatronising charectirisation.

And, mother of balls, was that some acting. Olivia Coleman less hit it out of the park than out of the stratosphere with a fucking astonishing, completely heartbreaking performance that just screamed “Bafta” as one of the police investigating the case, and partenered with a gruff but sympathetic David Tennant finally throwing any residual memories of the Doctor into the sun, the pair just killed it. But that goes for so many of the cast; mad-good Andrew Buchan (remember 24 Hour Party People? Aye, nothing like that, and better  for it), doe-eyed Arthur Darvill, Jodie Whittaker verging on going all Chenobyl for the whole series, Pauline Quirke vaulting the line of good acting and transcending into utter brilliance…

I’m really trying hard not to bitch on too long (though there’s more Broadchurch-fellatio if you want it): I can only say bloody watch it. Even if it’s not something you think you’d enjoy, you will. Then we can start speculating about series 2. Oh, and as for guessing who killed Danny Latimer? NAILED it.

This Week: Stephen Moffat in Drugs Shock

I believe that I may finally have proof. My long-held belief that the proliferation of distractatory cocaine use within the BBC has begun to affect the programming. And last night, hunched in front of iPlayer, underlit, with a glass of wine, I saw the results played out before my eyes.

Popular-with-late-teen-bastards-but-really-a-kid’s-show Doctor Who this week played the episode “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, a merry romp featuring the voices of Mitchell and Webb and the actual corporeal form of Mark Williams. It was an intellectually challenging as listening to Tommy Wiseau read The Cat in the Hat, but, as many people seem to forget, Doctor Who is a children’s teatime show. And as that, it was thunderingly good- exciting and silly and fun and in space.  But, increasingly, the show descended into situations so blisteringly outrageous and finally, finally I have proof. Below are a list of the top moments of the episode (or Exhibit A, as I like to call them).

Dinosaurs in Space, in a spaceship, flying about. Mr Weasely/Him Out of the Fast Show riding a triceratops. Rory looking increasingly like a squawking     wallaby with eyes the size of palms. A poor replacement for Captain Jack waving his metaphorical dick in an ancient Queen’s face. A large Mech voiced by Robert Webb replying to the exclamation “They’ve stolen the dinosaurs!” (delivered by a large Mech voiced by David Mitchell) with a tetchy “I know”.  Mr Weasely/Him Out of the Fast Show making a joke about his bollocks. David Bradley bringing the Jigsaw killer to teatime television. And, most stunningly of all, Amy being completely bearable for forty minutes.  It’s…..SATURDAY NIGHT!